Hawaii, a U.S. state, is an isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific. Its islands are renowned for their rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, tropical foliage and beaches with gold, red, black and even green sands. Of the 6 main islands, Oahu has Hawaii’s biggest city and capital, Honolulu, home to crescent Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor’s WWII memorials.
Let’s take you on a virtual sight seeing tour of the amazing Hawaii islands.
Pearl Harbor Historic Site, Honolulu, Hawaii
Millions of visitors tour Pearl Harbor each year to learn about World War II and visit historical sites and memorials. There are five historic locations within Pearl Harbor: the USS Utah Memorial, the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, Battleship Row, and Ford Island, which is home to the Aviation Museum. The newly renovated visitor center has been expanded to include 17 acres, which are managed as a national park.
USS Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu led to the United States’ direct involvement in World War II.
The memorial, built in 1962, is visited by more than two million people annually. Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. Historical information about the attack, shuttle boats to and from the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the associated USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, which opened in 1980 and is operated by the National Park Service. The battleship’s sunken remains were declared a National Historic Landmark on May 5, 1989.
The USS Arizona Memorial is one of several sites in Hawaii and elsewhere that are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Bowfin is one of only 15 U.S. World War II submarines that did not wind up as scrap metal or as target practice for another military ship. The Pacific Fleet Memorial Association was chartered in 1978 and acquired the Bowfin just one year later. In 1980, the submarine was brought to Pearl Harbor and docked next to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center. Finally, on April 1, 1981, the Bowfin officially opened to the public as a “museum ship.”
In 1986, the Bowfin was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior.
Today, the 10,000-square-foot museum exhibits a variety of submarine-related artifacts, including weapon systems, battle flags, photographs, recruiting posters and detailed submarine models. Visitors can examine the inner workings of a Poseidon C-3 missile, the only one of its kind to be put on public display. Also on exhibit is a Purple Heart that was awarded to crewmember Reid Lee, the lone Bowfin casualty of war. (Lee suffered shrapnel wounds during a surface engagement during the Bowfin’s seventh patrol.
In addition, visitors can watch submarine-related videos in the 40-seat Mini-Theater. Included in the theater’s collection are more than 50 episodes of “The Silent Service,” a classic 1960s television series that based its stories on actual World War II patrol events.
Battleship Missouri Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
Where WWII ended with the Surrender of the Japanese Forces. With over six decades of life at sea and 60,000 tons to explore, the Battleship Missouri Memorial is an interactive educational and inspirational monument.
Pacific Aviation Museum, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a non-profit founded in 1999 to develop an aviation museum in Hawaii. The museum hosts a variety of aviation exhibits with a majority relating directly to the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II.
Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii
The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty (1845) and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani (1893) under the Kalākaua Dynasty, founded by her brother, King David Kalākaua. It is located in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. It is now a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978.
Spitting Cave, Honolulu, Hawaii
Spitting Cave is a 0.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Mauna Kea Observatories, Hawaii
The Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) are a number of independent astronomical research facilities and large telescope observatories that are located at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai’i, United States. The Astronomy Precinct was established in 1967 and is located on land protected by the Historical Preservation Act for its significance to Hawaiian culture.
The location is ideal because of its dark skies, good astronomical seeing, low humidity and position above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere, clean air, good weather and almost equatorial location.
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, Hawaii
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens is a 30-acre (120,000 m2) park with Japanese gardens, located on Banyan Drive in Hilo on the island of Hawaiʻi.
The park’s site was given by Queen Liliʻuokalani, and lies southeast of downtown Hilo, on the Waiakea Peninsula in Hilo Bay. Much of the park now consists of Edo-style Japanese gardens, built in the early 1900s, and said to be the largest such gardens outside Japan. The gardens contain Waihonu Pond as well as bridges, koi ponds, pagodas, statues, torii, and a Japanese teahouse.
Coconut Island, Hawaii
Coconut Island, or Moku Ola is a small island in Hilo Bay, just offshore from Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens, in Hilo, off the island of Hawaii. It is a small park, and is connected to the main island via a footbridge. The island includes a large grassy field, picnic areas, restroom facilities, and a few tiny sandy beaches.
Waimoku Falls, Hawaii
Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii
The Haleakalā Observatory on the island of Maui, also known as the Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory Site, is the location of Hawaii’s first astronomical research observatory. It is owned by the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii, which operates some of the facilities on the site and leases portions to other organizations.